What is the state of Merlot in South Africa?

The first Merlot Report by Christian Eedes from Winemag is out - done in association with the Merlot Forum and announced at Asara on Monday 26th June 2017.

Merlot is Bordeaux’s most widely planted grape where it is known as classic blending partner with Cabernet Sauvignon - it tends to be noticeably lower in tannins and acidity than Cabernet, which makes it more voluptuous to taste.

Because of its fruity charms, it has been planted widely around the world including South Africa. The first local varietal bottling of Merlot is credited to Overgaauw in 1982 and today it is our eighth most planted variety with some 5 500ha in the ground, roughly 6% of the national vineyard.

There were 67 entries from 50 producers received for this 1st analysis. The wine were tasted blind (labels out of sight) by the three-person panel, with scoring done according to the 100-point quality scale.
The 2 top performers were Org de Rac and Boschendal with 92 points each, with Lourensford, Delaire Graff and Shannon (Woolworths) achieving 90 points.

See more in the linked article.